We sailed on the Dawn during Christmas. First off, we really enjoyed the embarkation procedure in Tampa. As it is a smaller port than the one in Miami, it was so much nicer and everything was facilitated professionally and with great ease.
We found that the cabin noise was unbelievable. We could hear the person next door to us snoring and we could hear the kids on the other side of us complaining about not wanting to go on the day excursion...we could hear their tv also.
The food was mediocre. We chose the Dawn for the "freestyle" dining, which was complete fiasco. We waited over 45 minutes for supper in the Venetian dining room (which wasn't that great anyway) and were told that if we were willing to share a table we would get in faster...which sort of defeats the whole purpose of freestyle dining doesn't it!! We ended up eating most of our dinners at the buffet, which actually was just as good or better than the main dining room.
the entertainment was quite good. Nathaniel Reed on the piano did a great job of performing special songs from Ray Charles/Cole Porter/and was a wonderful pianist.
There was a duo that performed often, which were basically singing to back up music off of a laptop...think Karaoke!! not the best there.
Greg London and Second City were a nice treat and we enjoyed their shows immensely. The staff productions were the usual cruise/all inclusive type shows. Dance numbers, loud music and costume changes...but we didn't come for the anyway so didn't really care.
ports of call were unfortunately just a place to spend money on hand made souvenirs that were all the same. We took an excursion to the Chaccoben Ruins in Mexico and loved them. We wish we had taken more excursions because there wasn't much else to do. In Roatan, we were taken to a beach which was so crowded that we left after 2 hours. Make sure you get the taxi driver to take you across the island to the lesser populated beaches. Cozumel was just more of the same shopping. A shame, because we were there 20 years ago and it was a wonderful place to visit.
Unfortunately, to us a good holiday is superb food, restful nights and great ports of call and we felt that this cruise was below par for all three.
Customs on the ship was unbelievably slow and a waste of time.
We will not be travelling NCL again.